Palestinians will never sell their identity

By Reema Khrais | The Daily Tar Heel

Maybe my grandmother was lying to me when she told me that she was driven from her home in Palestine.

Maybe the debris of an Israeli bomb that hit my cousin was the sky falling.

Maybe my Palestinian passport is just a fake — a ploy to keep my Jew-hating self at a safe distance from the Israeli borders.

Reading David Horowitz’s ad in Tuesday’s edition of The Daily Tar Heel reminds me of a kid with his fingers dangerously deep in his ears, shouting senseless noise. It will be a sad day in the life of Horowitz when someone breaks it to him that an overuse of declarative sentences does not — and cannot — rid years of Palestinian history.

I have to admit that playing into the free speech tactic by rejecting every other American value is a feat. Horowitz manages to not only degrade an entire race of people (to the point of nonexistence), but chooses to ignore a reality because his prejudices and flawed ideology are just too blinding.

The fundamental problem with his ad is that he deprives the existence of an entire people. He pushes Palestinians so down on the social ladder that their right to self-determination is extinguished. Even if you deny the history of a people, it is severely worse to ignore their current identity and rights to freedom.

But the oppression suffered in the West Bank and Gaza is just the sequel of how all Palestine was colonized. Zionist notions about how to give permanence to the Palestinian exile crystallized after the partition of 1947. Hundreds of Palestinian villages were depopulated – all left completely or partly in ruins and uninhabitable.

In 1940, Joseph Weitz, director of the Jewish National Land Fund, wrote that in order to achieve statehood, an Israeli nation would have to “transfer them (Palestinians) all; except maybe for Bethlehem, Nazareth and Old Jerusalem, we must not leave a single village, not a single tribe.”

Horowitz clearly presents an oversimplified account of a very complex story. And the remedy of simply flicking Palestinians out of the picture is a cowardly and simply racist approach.

This column is 401 words. That is about one word for every native Palestinian village destroyed by Israel in the wake of its creation. I hope Mr. Horowitz takes that into account next time he tries to deny the existence and very idea of Palestine.

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